Wednesday, July 11, 2007

...and God created NL cash

In November 2005, I went on holiday to Nassau, Bahamas. While there I visited one of the casinos and played some $1/$2 NL cash. The standard was poor and I left with a profit of around $500. Playing live* (as opposed to playing multiple tables online) really highlighted for me just how poor most players are. That’s when I thought that I could probably exploit this fact better at the NL cash tables, rather than the STT tables that I was currently playing.

*(Having moved to North Carolina from England in 2000 meant that I hadn’t had much opportunity to play live.)

When I got back home, I started playing multiple tables of NL cash. Initially things went very well and I finished the month with a nice profit:

November, 2005: +$7,703

However December didn’t go quite so well as I had yet to make the necessary adjustments needed for the NL game.

December, 2005: +$725

Frustrated, I decided to leave the NL cash games for the time being, and moved to mainly (low-stake) MTTs and also back to $22 STTs.

January, 2006: +$2,441

I tried NL cash again for a few days in February and had some good results:

February, 2006: +$7,589

I continued with NL cash, and moved up to playing 6 tables at a time:

March, 2006: +$7,969
April, 2006: +$12,446
May, 2006: +$10,949

I moved up to 8 tables, and then to 10. (My results don't look quite as good as the previous 3 months but that was partly due to a decrease in hours.)

June, 2006: +$8,947
July, 2006: +$7,925
August, 2006: +$1,577
September, 2006: +$5,047
October, 2006: +$6,732
November, 2006 +$5,117
December, 2006: +$9,873
January, 2007: +$6,344
February, 2007: +4,865

In March 2007, I went full-time, and had now started playing 12 tables at a time:

March, 2007: +$16,091
April, 2007: +$17,060
May, 2007: +$14,846
June, 2007: +$14,435

I’m happy with my progress to date; as of last month my total online profit was $187,891 and all 33 months have been profitable. I now have to think about where I want to take my game. I know I can continue to play $1/$2 and make a nice profit each month, with little variance, and no stress- but should I be looking to increase my stakes with an ultimate aim of playing some of the highest stakes online?

Look at Brian Townsend (blog link on right.) He was playing very low stake cash games just a couple of years ago, and now he plays the biggest games available live and online.

Am I good enough? I don’t know. I would definitely have to adapt my game somewhat if I stepped up.

I have started to open up the odd $2/$4 game. In fact, last Saturday night when I came in at 3am completely pissed, I had 6 x $1/$2 and 6 x $2/$4 going. (I was soon down almost $1,500 but managed to sober up enough to turn a near $1,000 profit.)

Perhaps I should just start introducing more higher stake games gradually? One obvious problem with stepping up is the increase in variance- not because the stakes are higher, but rather because the fewer tables I imagine you can play successfully.

Another direction I’m looking at for now is simply to play more tables. Full Tilt has a 12 table cap, so it would mean running Pokerstars or possibly Betfair at the same time. I don’t think I’d have any problems playing 16 tables.


Highstack said...

Who cares? Nobody is interested in this rubbish. We demand more tits please!

Smart Money said...

I completely agree. More tits soon.

ymaw_spu said...

Hey Smartmoney im really enjoying your blog altho the breasts are great the poker stuff itself is what im really enjoying reading. Just a few questions for ya if you have time.

When you started out did you seek advice or help from others, were there people influential in your development to be a great player now or were you self taught?

Anonymous said...

i play poker and could not handle more than 4 tables at a time.if possible would you mind elaborating on this for me please? i mean how the hell can you keep up with that much action!- i would think its a job to click the options on all 16 tables within the time span each hand leave alone making any decisions,i just dont get it.

Smart Money said...


Thank-you for your comments.

I played my first few sessions knowing nothing (not even the rules properly) except for hand rankings.

I then bought several books, nearly all of which were aimed at the low/mid-stake limit game.

The first, most important, lesson that I learnt was starting hand selection. That alone is enough to beat most players!

Basically though, I would say I'm as self-taught as someone can be. (Obviously you're always going to pick up pieces of advice here and there.)

Smart Money said...


It's really just a case of moving up when you're ready, and having a large enough monitor!

With plenty of experience, and if you're good enough, multi-tabling does became second nature. This doesn't mean you have to play predictably though (although most multi-tablers do.)

There are very few occasions where I need more than, say, 5 seconds to make a decision. I pretty much know how I am going to act immediately.

With lots of experience at these levels, the most useful skill you acquire is the ability to read an opponents' hand- or at least the strength of it, if not the precise holding. This then makes your decision fairly straight forward.

Full-tilt recently reduced the amount of time that a player has to act, but introduced a time bank that can be utilised. This was bad news for multi-tablers because it required you to click the "time" button on each table almost every go. However there is a piece of software available called "Full Tilt Shortcuts" that now activates that time button for you automatically- making it much easier.

Other priceless software for any serious cash player is Poker Tracker used together with one of the table overlays. (I use PAHUD.) This also enables you to make quicker decisions based on the information available on your opponents.

So my advice would be to move up gradually and to buy a second monitor if you intend playing more than 6 tables at a time.

Anonymous said...

nice read mike and great tits

and the girls are good too


Anonymous said...

Can't believe you didn't give me any credit, especially as it was I that taught you the custard cream diet, which in turn trains the mind to read the hands.

Unhappy :(

JPJ ;)

Smart Money said...


I'm not going to reveal ALL the secrets!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

First of all congrats on your success!

I was wondering what stats you have display using the HUD. I have the following when I am playing

Total Agg
Went to SD
makes c-bet
attemp to steal
fold to c-bet
fold sb to steal
fold bb to steal

I've heard a few people say they display "raises c-bet" and also "bets on river". Do you think I'm using too many stats here also?

Smart Money said...


I really only look at VPIP, PFR, and FCB.